Introduced in 2011, Aya Donna is a form of creative expression by designer Adiellah “Adi” Bates. Using predominantly African fabric, the Aya Donna product line currently includes clothing, jewelry, bags, flower pins, and other accessories.
Born and raised in Georgia, Adi has had a passion for creativity her entire life. Growing up, she enjoyed artistic endeavors such as drawing and painting. She received a degree in Studio Art in 2007 but it wasn’t until 4 years later, while completing her Masters Degree in Marketing, that she began to channel her creativity into sewing.
As a child, Adi also participated in West African Dance, as a member of the Watoto Uhuru Dancers. After nearly a decade of separation, she was reintroduced to West African dance in 2010 and embedded in a community full of creative inspiration. The rhythms, movement, culture, community, and colorful garments immediately drew her in and lit the flame that would soon after be called Aya Donna.
With fabric as the medium, Aya Donna is an ever expanding product line of unique handmade items. "Aya" originally comes from the Adinkra symbol representing both strength and creativity. It also has multiple meanings in other languages; in Japanese it means design, colorful, or beautiful; in Hebrew it means to fly; in Arabic it means wonderful, amazing, miracle; and in Turkish Aya means goodness. "Donna," comes from the Italian phrase Bella Donna for beautiful woman or "oh how pretty." Together, the name Aya Donna represents a uniquely creative infusion of a classy, trendy, appeal while expressing a dynamic essence of cultural creativity.
Uniquely Creative - Culturally Inspired
"Aya Donna is beautiful, unique African fashion that makes me feel beautiful when I wear them. Aya Donna keeps me looking great whether at work or play!!!"
-- M. Muhammad
"Aya Donna represents flyness, creativity and reciprocity."
-- A. Williams
"Aya Donna is African inspired grace & style for every occasion."
-- A. Frazier
"All my flaws and imperfections BEAUTIFULLY accentuated in the essence of our heroic ancestors."
-- G. Matthews